Reserve Collections and Copyright law
No legal advice about copyright law is given here. The university library would, however, like to draw attention to
a few important basic legal conditions which you, as a lecturer, should be familiar with when offering a reserve
collection. You will find general information on copyright law on our
pages about copyright and
on the Remus webpapges.
§ 52a: Public accessibility for tuition and research
The allocation of texts in an online reserve collection also falls under
§52a "Öffentliche Zugänglichmachung für
Unterricht und Forschung" (public accessibility for tuition and research) of current German copyright law.
There, in paragragh 1, it specifies:
"small parts of a work", i.e. several pages of a book. The university library is not
allowed, therefore, to digitalize major parts of a book unless other agreements with the rights holder
exist or the work is no longer protected by copyright.
"individual articles from newspapers or periodicals", i.e. an essay from a professional journal.
the purpose "of demonstration in teaching at ... universities ... exclusively for a clearly defined group of
participating students". Online reserve collections are hence generally protected by a password so that
only the students from your course have access to the texts.
"Appropriate remuneration is to be paid for public accessibility as per paragraph 1." This remuneration is
paid by the university library, the accessibility of such texts in the reserve collection being free for
you as a lecturer.
The library associations, the Working Committee of Scientific Publishers and the "Börsenverein des Deutschen
Buchhandels" (= Consortium of German Booktrade) have, furthermore, defined the practical interpretation of these
arrangements in a
zum Verständnis von §52a" (common charter on understanding of §52a).